The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was founded in 1845 and has an immense collection of genealogical resources. New England is undoubtedly its strength, but it has a considerable collection from other locales. The more likely New Englanders were to be concerned about the area, the greater the likelihood of resources (i.e. New York, Ohio, England, and the colonial South all have relatively strong collections; less so the American west and any other country).
There are two primary resources for the public: the library and the website. Membership ($75/year/$90/family and up) is generally required to access the website resources, but non-members can use the library for a daily fee of $15.
Located on Boylston Street in Boston. Open to members and the public Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Description from their website: The NEHGS Research Library offers a comprehensive collection of more than 200,000 books, periodicals, and microform materials, as well as over one million manuscripts. Its book holdings include nearly all published New England genealogies, local histories, and related periodicals. Its microtext collection, with more than 40,000 items, contains copies of the original town, probate, land, and vital records; city directories; censuses; and immigration records for most of New England and eastern Canada. Beyond New England, family researchers will find many important published and primary sources for other regions, including U.S. states beyond New England, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, eastern Canada, French Canada, Europe, and Australia.
An additional important resource at the library are the librarians, most of whom have extensive research experience, and can help direct patrons struggling with brick walls.
See also their library guide.
A portion of their library is available for lending by mail to members.
Many NEHGS-published or out of copyright New England resources are being put online at the Society's website. See Repository:AmericanAncestors.org. (Materials available in hard copy should link to this repository. Materials that have been put online should link to the website.)
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States, founded in 1845. A charitable, nonprofit educational institution, NEHGS is located at 99-101 Newbury Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, in an eight-story archive and research center. Today it has over 25,000 members worldwide and a 50-person staff. Its mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America."
In 2010, NEHGS announced a broader identity and re-launched its quarterly magazine as American Ancestors: New England, New York, and Beyond to better reflect its national scope and leadership position among genealogical nonprofits.
NEHGS maintains a large web site with more than 100 million names in its databases, the largest such online collection of any genealogical society. It includes vital records, compiled genealogies, and a suite of scholarly journals, such as The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and The American Genealogist, the leading independent journal in American genealogy. In addition to American Ancestors (formerly New England Ancestors), NEHGS publishes other periodicals: The Register, the flagship journal of American genealogy, American Ancestors Journal, an annual supplement to The Register, and The Great Migration Newsletter, a quarterly publication of the Great Migration Study Project.
NEHGS' library catalog is available online and lists more than 200,000 genealogical books and other resources. The R. Stanton Avery Special Collections features over twenty million manuscript items, with an emphasis on the period of the 17th century to the present, covering New England and other regions.